Bulls 99, Pacers 86

Derrick Rose figured the only way to get over the Charlotte loss
was to take care of Indiana.

The Chicago point guard needed to shake off his poor shooting
and his team’s poor defensive effort against the Bobcats, and he
responded with 29 points and 10 rebounds in a 99-86 win over the
Pacers on Friday night.

Chicago led Charlotte 80-75 with eight minutes to go on
Wednesday night before falling apart defensively in the closing
minutes. Rose was focused on creating a different outcome against
Indiana.

”I couldn’t wait to play,” Rose said. ”We let that one slip
because of our defense. Tonight, we made sure that we played with a
lot of intensity at the beginning of the game and made sure that we
played defense.”

The Bulls held the Pacers to 33 percent shooting.

”We were just ready tonight,” Bulls forward Carlos Boozer
said. ”We did a good job of focusing on what they do offensively.
I thought we did a good job defensively and made them take tough
shots, contested shots.”

Rose shot 5 for 17 from the field against the Bobcats, but
11-for-21 against the Pacers. He scored 20 points in the second
half against Indiana.

”In the second half, when he’s going like he’s going, it
doesn’t matter what you do on a pick-and-roll,” Indiana coach Jim
O’Brien said. ”That’s why people think that he’s an MVP
candidate.”

Luol Deng had 17 points and five assists, Boozer scored 14
points and Kurt Thomas had a season-high 18 rebounds for the
Bulls.

Danny Granger scored 22 points for the Pacers, but he shot 4 for
17 in the first three quarters when the game was in doubt while
being guarded primarily by Deng.

”He’s such a great shooter,” Deng said. ”My mindset tonight
was, I just didn’t want to lose him. Every time he took a shot, I
was doing the best I could to challenge. I didn’t want to let him
get any space.”

Mike Dunleavy scored 13 points and Jeff Foster had a season-high
15 rebounds for Indiana, which failed to notch its first three-game
winning streak of the season.

The Bulls led 53-41 at halftime.

”We came out there and had some needless turnovers, some silly
turnovers that we shouldn’t have had, and we didn’t play our
defense,” Indiana forward Tyler Hansbrough said. ”Our defense is
something we’ve been relying on the whole year, and we just didn’t
show up tonight.”

The Bulls extended their lead to 60-46 on a 3-pointer by Rose.
Indiana trimmed its deficit to nine points and had a fast break
going, but Brandon Rush missed everything on a hurried 3-pointer,
and Taj Gibson converted a 3-point play on the other end to make it
66-54. On Chicago’s next possession, Rose made a 3-pointer and was
fouled, prompting MVP chants from the thousands of Bulls fans who
made the short drive. He completed the four-point play to push
Chicago’s lead to 70-54.

”You’ve got to be able to stop him,” Hansbrough said. ”You’re
not going to be able to totally contain him, but you can’t let him
get hot and keep going.”

Indiana surged again, and a jumper by Granger made it 70-61. But
Chicago responded with a 7-0 run to re-establish control for good.
Rose scored 12 points in the third quarter to help the Bulls lead
79-63 at the end of the period.

The Bulls led by 14 in the final minute when the half-filled
arena, with mostly Chicago fans remaining, gave the Bulls a
standing ovation.

Chicago shot 46 percent and committed just seven turnovers.

”We had a good balance to our offense,” Chicago coach Tom
Thibodeau said. ”I thought we had a good mix of post-ups,
pick-and-rolls, catch-and-shoot, and transition. When we do that,
we’re going to be successful.”

Indiana heads into a four-game road trip on a negative note.

”We dug a hole the first half,” O’Brien said. ”We weren’t
sharp at all. Our defense wasn’t sharp, we missed too many layups
and point blank shots, and when we tried to mount a comeback,
Derrick Rose took over and made sure there was not going to be a
comeback tonight.”

NOTES: Chicago G Keith Bogans committed two fouls in the first
1:44 of the game. … Indiana F Josh McRoberts played four minutes
after O’Brien sat him for four games while using other players.
McRoberts began the season as the starter, but Hansbrough started
his fifth straight game at power forward … Deng was issued a
technical foul with 8:08 left in the second quarter.